Monday, November 18, 2013
Consumer and Employment Arbitration Law in Comparative Perspective: The Importance of the Civil Jury
This article argues that much of what makes civil litigation in the United States materially different from civil litigation elsewhere in the world can plausibly be traced back to the jury. By contrast, enforcement of consumer and employment arbitration agreements affects only a few categories of cases and, within those categories, affects only those cases in which an enforceable arbitration agreement has been formed. The civil jury is a mountain; enforcement of consumer and employment arbitration agreements is a molehill. Those who value uniformity across nations and seek to bring U.S. law into the international mainstream should be far more troubled by the civil jury than by enforcement of consumer and employment arbitration agreements. Bringing the United States into the mainstream on the civil jury might even bring it into the mainstream on arbitration. It may not be a coincidence that the only nation with the civil jury is the only nation that enforces consumer and employment arbitration agreements.